NEW: Montblanc Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph Limited Edition 100
Montblanc's Pulsograph gets an elegant upgrade.
Now, more than ever, people are increasingly health-conscious and fitness-focused. Even before the current global pandemic, fitness trackers and heart rate monitors have been dominating the wrists of many, including seasoned watch collectors.
So it’s fitting that Montblanc has chosen to update its Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph Limited Edition 100, first released in 2014 then updated in stainless steel last year. Sure, the pulsograph isn’t a fancy complication, but it does take a basic (and, some argue, necessary) function and presents it in a highly stylised, beautifully executed way.
If you are wondering what a pulsograph is and how it works, well basically, a pulsograph was used by doctors to determine a patient’s heart rate and they’re usually calibrated for 15 or 30 pulses. The version featured here is calibrated for 30 pulses.
To find out someone’s heart rate, you activate the chronograph hand and, the same time, start counting the first heartbeat. Depending of your pulsograph is calibrated for 15 or 30 pulses, you would then stop the chronograph after counting 15 or 30 beats. The number that the hand ends up pointing to would denote the person’s heart rate. This saves the doctor (or wearer, for that matter) the trouble of having to count a full minute or multiply by four after counting 15 beats.
The 2019 version of this watch was especially striking with its on-trend salmon dial. This year’s upgrade, on the other hand, captivates with sheer elegance. The 18K rose gold case pairs perfectly with a smoked tobacco-brown dial and complementary Sfumato alligator strap. The domed dial, in particular, features a grainé hour ring and sunray finishing, throwing back to the vintage aesthetics of the 1940s and 1950s.
Of note is the three-minute counter that’s been retained on the minutes sub-dial—a nod to payphones in the past which reminded the caller every three minutes to drop in more coins or their call would be ended.
Although the dial in itself is gorgeous, the Calibre MB M13.21 is just as mesmerising, if not more—a benefit, surely, of having the Minerva manufacture under your roof. The movement's beautiful architecture and layout of sculpted bridges recall the best of Minerva's old-world mechanical aesthetic. To match the 18K rose gold case, the movement uses a rose-gold mainplate and bridges. Performance-wise, the engine features a column wheel and horizontal coupling, with a balance that beats at 18,000vph, a slow and steady cadence which offers it more stability.
As its name suggests, the watch is (like last year’s iteration) limited to just 100 pieces. We really do like the old-world charm of this latest version and how it is so eminently suited to a complication that was used in a more bygone era, proving that some things do stand the test of time.
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